Becoming a new mum can be a lot like being thrown straight into the deep end, blindfolded. It can feel overwhelming at times, having a tiny little baby who is totally dependent on you for everything in your care.
These are 6 things that you shouldn’t stress about, because they probably seem like a bigger deal than they actually are!
Milestones are a big talking point among new parents – is your baby rolling yet? Have they started solids? Are they sleeping through the night? Particularly if you have friends with babies close in age to yours, it’s really easy to start comparing the developmental milestones of your little one with theirs.
However, you need to remember that babies and children develop at different rates, and that early milestones aren’t necessarily a predictor of later ones or intelligence. So don’t worry if your bub isn’t following the textbook – it’s unrealistic to think that they should!
New mums often want to commit to breastfeeding and put pressure on themselves to get it right from the start. What many parents aren’t told is that breastfeeding doesn’t always come naturally, and can actually be challenging or even painful at first.
With support, practice, patience, and helpful breastfeeding products, most new mamas get the hang of it in the first couple of weeks – so hang in there, and don’t worry if it doesn’t work out for you. As long as your little one is being fed, whether it’s from formula or breastmilk, that’s all the matters.
This is a hard one. The sound of your newborn’s cries can be heartbreaking for a new mama…but understand that it’s their only form of communication. Babies cry for a reason, to let you know whether they’re hungry, in pain, hot/cold, or in need of cuddles. Don’t let the amount of baby crying that now fills your house alarm you – it’s totally normal!
4. Bonding with your baby
It comes as a shock to so many new mums that they don’t necessarily feel an “instant connection or bond” with their baby immediately after birth. This is normal though. Through the hours and days of cuddling and feeding, your bond will grow and strengthen. Give it time.
5. The state of your house
Dishes overflowing in the sink? Clothes piling up in the laundry? Don’t worry about them. There are things more important than these in your first weeks back at home after giving birth to your newborn! Focus on your own recovery and the needs of your little one – and don’t fret if your floor isn’t spotless or the sheets go an extra week without a wash.
6. Getting back in shape
Rest assured that it’s both unrealistic and unhealthy to get your pre-pregnancy body back overnight.
Wait for your obstetrician to give you the go-ahead for getting back into exercise at your 6 week checkup – and definitely don’t push yourself before then! Your body has gone through an incredible amount over the past 9 months, give it a chance to just rest.
If you’re a first-time mum, or even for the second, third or subsequent time – try your best not to stress about any of these things with a newborn. Just remember that the first few months will be over before you know it, so cherish every moment while it lasts.